Indie Games, where the heart and soul is!

Retrocade: DataStream Y2K600 #XBLIG VVG Indie Verse Review


VVG IndieVerse Preview

“DataStream Y2K600”

By: Mr. Deeke

Thanks for joining us on this installment of VVG Indie Verse Reviews–today we’ll be taking a look at an Xbox Indie titled DataStream Y2K600. This game is the first title in a series of games planned for RBG Entertainment’s Retro-Cade anthology which will focus on the rebirth of classic retro titles.

DataStream is the developer’s take on a futuristic edition of Frogger(1), the classic developed by Konami that’s regarded as one of the most well-known titles in the golden age of gaming.

Retrocade: DataStream Y2k600 80 MSP


DataStream is a game focused on the role that advanced technology plays in a civilization’s growth as well as downfall.  It contains a total of six different game modes–two Arcade difficulties and four other modes–and is sure to entertain fans of retro and classic gaming.

Retrocade: DataStream Y2K600

  • Developer – RBG Entertainment (Quimby RBG)
  • Genre – Classics
  • XBL Marketplace URLDataStream Y2k600
  • Release Date – 4/4/2011
  • Try or Buy?Try Before You Buy
  • Price – 80 MSP
  • Rating – 3/5

“Hours of entertainment lies ahead of you as the arcade genre comes back with a vengeance! DataStream Y2K600 takes no prisoners on its way to resurrecting the pure unadulterated game play that the entire industry was built upon. No fancy graphics, no social media BS, and no silly advertising tie ins; Just rock solid retro fun. A MUST PLAY GAMING EXPERIENCE!”

–Xbox Live Marketplace Description

I. Story Line

The advent of advanced technology bears both positive and negative aspects in our everyday lives. In DataStream Y2k600’s story arc, technology is directly responsible for the upheaval of truly despicable authoritarian government leaders to reign in all countries. These men manifest their power over the world in a single tyrannical entity: the UNE or United Nations of Earth.

In the year 2600 the UNE uses the power of technology to control the populace, making this world a futuristic dystopia. Millions are enslaved by the very things they’ve come to depend on to make their lives easier, making this cruel twist of fate quite ironic. The UNE is sort of like “Big Brother” from well-known book 1984 by George Orwell (2).

While the UNE is the supreme and dominant force in the world during this time, there is a resistance movement known as The Collective that wishes only to live freely. This rebellion believes the only way to end this enslavement is to “reboot” the current state of mankind–the dependence of technology for convenience–and transform civilization back into an agrarian society.

Can The Collective counter the mighty organization, using their own technology against them in the form of viruses, the manipulation of data streams, and hacking attacks?

Will The Collective persevere and remain unyielding even in the face of a seemingly unconquerable government monolith–or will they fail and become prisoners in the very society they’re trying to slave? It’s up to players to find out in Retrocade: DataStream Y2k600.

Image from Retrocade: DataStream Y2K600

II. Game Mechanics

This chapter of RBG Entertainment’s Retrocade series focuses on elements of retro-style gaming, and early on players can feel nostalgia for old arcade games. Basically each row of is a different set path, sort of like an conveyor belt that’s constantly in motion and moving items. Depending on the game variant, players must navigate these tracks, all the while dodging certain data blocks and collecting different colored bars.

The retro arcade game Frogger is one of the inspirations for this title, and there are two game modes that reflect our toady friend’s car-dodging escapades–Glitcher and Flow Rider. In these modes players must cross through an area or “road” of moving objects or “traffic” to reach the other side.

Like many of the older retro games, this title is challenging and puts emphasis on focus and reflex skills. Players are tested in many ways, and this title adequately reflects what the original days of arcade gaming were like. This title captures the essence found in classic titles and uses original mechanics to transport players back to the early days of gaming.

There are five different game modes for players to enjoy–two different Arcade difficulties that are set in the same mode and four varying gametypes–that all focus on different objectives and also have their own mini story arcs:

  • Arcade: The standard DataStream Y2k600 experience–dodge green data blocks while destroying red bars (errors), preventing them from corrupting and closing the stream.
  • Corruption: Prevent the purple data blocks from crossing the red bars (probes) by collecting them, keeping the red probes from securing the stream.
  • Waypoint: This game variant is timed, and players must collect the yellow bars (nodes) while dodging the white data blocks. Each yellow node that is collected will buy the player more time.
  • Glitcher: This gametype is most like the classic game Frogger–players must use the dark green block to cross the “road” of moving blocks. Dodge incoming traffic and reach the lily pads afar, and players only have 3 lives.
  • Flow Rider: Players must cross the tracks to get to the blue path on the other side, and they must cross back the same way they came all while dodging data blocks.

The controls for DataStream are quite simple as players only have to move around different areas using the left analog stick or the D-pad. Since gamers can move in all directions–up, down, left and right–the analog stick isn’t recommended for newer players as movement is quite sensitive. It’s quite easy to get hit by moving blocks while using the analog stick, or to mess up a near-perfect run. The D-pad offers for more precise moves and is much more accurate with less chances of accidentally walking into a block.

Image from Retrocade: DataStream Y2K600

III. Unique Features

DataStream Y2k600 offers a few unique features that I’d like to focus on: the expansive storyline for the game itself, as well as each game variant’s mini stories are original elements to the title; the music for the title itself sets the tone for the entire game, defining the retro style with it’s chiptune and vintage sounds; and the multitude of gametypes for players to enjoy, making the title more of a collection of variations rather than one title.

RBG Entertainment has a creative flair that has defined it as a studio: this style is reflected in it’s platformer creation BoneD: Dead Men Don’t Jump as well as in this title. In Retrocade: DataStream Y2k600 players get to experience RBG’s vision of a futuristic dystopia which sets the focus for the entire game. The overall quality of the story plots are intriguing and interesting–and it’s definitely something that tech geeks would enjoy.

The musical score for this game is a great way for players to be transported back to the retro days of gaming. The smooth chiptune sounds and upbeat tracks will enrapture gamers with the essence of classic arcade games–the only difference here is that players don’t have to pump out a pocketful of quarters to play. The soundtrack for DataStream changes with each gametype and loops–however the repetitive sounds are welcomed and help amplify the action and define the game’s overall retro style.

Image from Retrocade: DataStream Y2K600

IV. Critique

The Good

It’s Addictive! This first installment in RBG Entertainment’s Retrocade series is quite addictive as players’ reflexes and focus are tested, and they are allowed to retry each stage over and over again. The ever-changing and randomized levels give a different experience each time–yet the goal remains the same, to simply dodge blocks and make smart decisions. When I play this game I find myself constantly wanting to improve my score and practicing–this game makes good use of hand-eye coordination which has a few practical uses.

The Music. VVGtv’s very own Master Blud created the soundtrack for this game. The tracks have fast tempos and synthesized chiptune sounds that are perfect for recreating the retro feel that is reflected in this enjoyable Xbox Indie title. There are multiple music tracks for each gametype–and even if you have the game paused the music will still run in the background.

The Retro-Design. The simplistic graphics and use of bright colors instill that feel of older vintage titles, especially with the scrolling binary code background. The menus are also in a digital font, reinforcing the retro feel. Overall the style and especially the Retrocade icon itself successfully provide a classic feel from olden days of gaming.

The Bad

It’s Difficult And Can Be Confusing. Some gamers who aren’t used to older-style games may have problems playing this title. It’s not your average new retail release–on the contrary, it is a look at what older arcade games were like. A simulation, if you will. While some gamers can easily grasp it’s concepts and dodge blocks, most players may find it to be challenging especially when they progress through the varied gametypes.

It Isn’t For Everyone. Not everyone enjoys the classic gameplay mechanics of early retro titles–there are many gamers who expect most releases to reflect the next-gen quality of gaming that they’re used to. This title isn’t recommended for players who are expecting a game with enhanced graphics or explosive action–its for the gamer who has played (or is curious about) retro games.

Analog Controls Are Too Sensitive. While there aren’t any real control dynamics involved with this title, the main objective is to dodge certain blocks. To do this players must navigate their “bar” through the different areas of the screen. This movement is imperative and essential, however the analog stick is very very sensitive and usually will frustrate gamers as they will make many mistakes with it. The D-pad, ironically, is more useful in this case as it provides for better accuracy. As it is the player’s first instinct to use the analog stick they will soon learn not to use it and stick with the D-pad or forced to keep making mistakes.

Image from Retrocade: DataStream Y2K600

V. Wrap-Up

All in all, Retrocade: DataStream Y2k600 is an enjoyable game that has a very engaging story line, an upbeat and harmonic chiptune soundtrack, and instills a sense of nostalgia to bring gamers of the next-gen age back to the golden age of arcade gaming.


For more information on DataStreamY2k600 and other titles in the Retrocade series, be sure to follow RBG Entertainmenton Twitter.

Other Xbox Indie titles from RBG Entertainment:

BoneD: Dead Men Don't Jump

Source:

(1) Frogger & Konami Wikipedia Articles

(2) 1984 & “Big Brother” Wikipedia Articles

Advertisements

Start or join the discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s